Seneca third-graders recently finished their Project Based Learning (PBL) unit on citizenship by doing an empty bowl project.

“The students decided they wanted to serve soup to the community to raise money for the Seneca Food Pantry,” said Heather Lankford, third grade teacher at Seneca Elementary School.

Students in Heather Lankford and Gwen Osborne’s third grade class prepare the soup for the dinner.

The students read the book “Stone Soup” to go along with their citizenship and kindness unit, and decided to serve that soup to the community.

“The donations and proceeds went to the Seneca Food Pantry and a portion of the proceeds went to Heifer International to pay for an animal to get sent to an impoverished town for food,” said Lankford.

Teachers and parents got together to provide crockpots for the soups. The students made somewhere around 20 crockpots of soup.

“The students also got to decorate glass bowls in art class and they sold those bowls for $10 each. The bowls are to represent the people who go to bed with empty bellies,” said Lankford.

About 100 bowls were made for the event and if more bowls had been purchased at the event, the third grade would paint more and deliver them to those who purchased them.

(L-r) Marley Myers, Brylee Patton, Hunter Lett, and Remington Albrecht.

The students were divided into different committees to get everything together for the event. There was a supply committee, public relations committee, decoration committee, and a few more.

“The kids made the fliers and commercials, designed all the decorations, and made lists of everything we would need to make the soup,” said Lankford.

“The students worked really hard on this project and are very excited to raise money for other people,” said Gwen Osborne, third grade teacher.

The third grade also had a waitress come in and explain how to serve to others, to smile and be pleasant, to generally get them ready to serve the soup.

Several third grade students shared what they liked most about this project and what their favorite thing about PBL is.

“I love that we get to help the food pantry and my favorite thing about PBL is that we learn more,” said Marley Myers, a student in Lankford and Osborn’s third grade class.

“I like that we get to help the homeless and learn in a different way,” said Brylee Patton.

“I enjoyed making the bowls and helping people,” said Hunter Lett.

“I like that we get to help the poor and research about it,” said Remington Albrecht. 

“Graphing, estimating, compare and contrast, main idea, author’s purpose, and drawing conclusions were several things the students learned with this unit,” said Kathy Hauser, third grade teacher.

Miley Fink, a student in Hauser’s class, said her favorite thing was making the soup.

“I learned how to show good citizenship,” said Fink.

“My favorite thing was being in the commercial to promote our event,” said Brennon Giberti. “I also learned it’s not all about raising money, but actually helping people.”

Students in Kristi Webb’s third grade were in charge of making the drinks and cleaning up spills.

“We had a group of students visit with the janitor to learn how to clean up spills and what tools to use,” said Webb.

Jordyn Sanford, a third-grader in Webb’s class, said his favorite thing is that they are helping people.

“It’s important to care about other people and do your best to help them,” said Sanford.

“I enjoyed painting the bowls and raising the money for the event, and I learned about caring for others,” said Easton Hanes, a third-grader in Webb’s class.


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